ASVAB Legislative Resources
Testimony of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland in Maryland's General Assembly, March 17, 2010
Testimony of the Maryland PTA in Maryland's General Assembly, March 3, 2010
Testimony of the NAACP Maryland State Conference in Maryland's General Assembly, March 3, 2010
Letter of Christopher Beveridge, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, Commanding Officer, Baltimore Military Entrance Processing Station, April 7, 2010
Lt. Col. Beveridge writes to oppose the legislation. His position is contrary to that of the MD PTA, which argues that student information should be controlled by parents. By opposing the measure, Lt. Col. Beveridge is arguing that student information should be controlled by the Pentagon.
He writes, "Our current Maryland student testing program does not require schools to release personal information, i.e., address, phone number, and SSN." In a sense, the recruiting commander is correct. Schools are not required to participate in the ASVAB program. However, approximately 12,000 schools do participate in the program and 92% of the 655,000 students who take the test every year have their results forwarded to the Pentagon. The so-called Privacy Act Statement on the ASVAB Answer Sheet requires students to sign the form for the results of the test to be used by the military. The statement also says the military will not score the test if a student refuses to sign. Furthermore, requiring minors to sign a form that relinquishes private information (including social security numbers) violates many state laws.
Lt. Col. Beveridge also writes, “Although Federal Law (No Child Left Behind Act) requires release of high school juniors’ and seniors’ addresses and phone numbers to recruiters (unless parents opt out in writing) SB 778 prevents the release of test line scores.” It seems Beveridge is attempting to mix apples and oranges. The ASVAB program manages to completely circumvent two federal laws – FERPA and NCLB. Even when parents opt out – and most in Maryland do because of the law passed in that state two years ago – the ASVAB gets around it. In other words, a student's parent may have opted out, but the student may still take the ASVAB and have all his info forwarded to the Pentagon. Otherwise, Maryland legislators would not have felt it necessary to pass the new law
Continuing, “The line scores enable recruiters, applicants and influencers to enter a meaningful dialogue as to potential military career opportunities prior to ever stepping into a Military Entrance Processing Station. This critical step in the recruitment process is lost if schools are forced into Option 8.”
“Influencers” is a Pentagon code word for parents -- and, from the Pentagon's perspective, parents are the adversary in this process. This section of Beveridge’s letter is noteworthy because it is the first time the Pentagon has ever publicly acknowledged that the ASVAB program in the schools has anything to do with military recruiting. Schools across the country are plastered with posters that encourage youth to take the ASVAB without explaining the tie-in to the military or recruiting. The posters and outreach in schools typically don't explain what the acronym ASVAB stands for..Lt. Col Beveridge's Letter in Opposition.pdf
California Assembly Bill 2994 would have precluded the use of the ASVAB as a recruiting tool in California’s public schools. The bill passed both houses of the California legislature with healthy majorities before being vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.